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Vacation - Sapphire Coast NSW
Vacation Sapphire Coast
The Sapphire Coast is on the South Coast of New South Wales and stretches from Bega down to the Victorian border. The area became known as the Sapphire Coast for the clear sparkling waters of the ocean and the many lakes along its coast line.
The Sapphire takes in the Townships of Bermagui, Bega (although not actually located on the coast) Tathra, Merimbula and Eden.
Travelling South from Sydney the first town along the Sapphire Coast is Bermagui.
Bermagui located just 235 miles (378km) south of Sydney and is famous for its local and deep sea fishing, it is situated on the Bermagui River.
The well known big game fisherman of the 30's Zane Grey, and also author of Westerns, wrote of his experiences in Bermagui. For a number of years he was patron of the Bermugui Sport Fishing Association, and would anchored his yacht, the "Avalon" in Horseshoe Bay.
Dating back to the 1830's Bermagui offers a safe, all-weather harbour. The continental shelf which produces such large fish as the yellowfin tuna and the much sought after black marlin is only 12 miles (20 km ) out from Bermagui.
Wallanga Lake one of the largest coastal lakes in NSW is close by and offers an area of great natural beauty and has special significance for the Aboriginal people in the area.
Historic church at Bega in NSW
Bega couched at the junction of the Bega and Brogo Rivers is the centre of rich dairy country and has a proud history of cheese making. Although not technically a coastal town the stunning sculptured coastline of Mimosa Rocks National Park is less than 10 miles (15 km ) east of Bega.
Bega is the largest town in the area with over 4000 residents and is the main commercial district in the area.
Bega cheese which has been produced for the past 100 years has become the icon cheese brand in Australia and the Bega Heritage Centre tells the history of their company. There is a faithfully reproduction of the original factory situated in Bega and is well worth a visit.
George Bass was the first European to come near the area, he explored the coastline in 1797 as part of his broader explorations of the Australian coast.
In 1829, William Tarlinton was the first European to explore the area on foot. He returned in the early 1830s and settled there, starting a cattle farm.
The Imlay brothers arrived in the area around the same time, and they also began farming there. Their name has been preserved by way of the Mount Imlay National Park.
Ancient middens can be discovered and spectacular views seen at Aragunnu in Mimosa National Park.
Just down the road about another 10 miles (17 km) is a little place called Tathra perched high on a bluff overlooking the ocean and has a historic steamer wharf just great for fishing.
From Tathra another 17 km we find the bustling and picturesque town of Merimbula and Pambula.
Merimbula from the air
Merimbula was established around 1850 as a private village Merimbula and it's neighboring town Pambula have developed side by side into a flourishing and very popular vacation spots for visitors from all over the world. People travel from Sydney 290 miles (468km) and Melbourne 360 miles (580 km) to stay it this beautiful and picturesque place.
Merimbula is well known for its Oysters and series of lakes which surround the township
The town's main assets are water sports of all types, including fishing, swimming, boating, lake cruises, scuba diving, sailboarding and canoeing. The 6-km Main Beach is ideal for surfing, while Short Point and Tura Beach are backed by tea-trees and banksia trees set among coastal heaths.
The surrounding hinterland has superb bushwalks with marked trails. The natural forests burst into bloom in spring with abundant native flora. Bournda National Park, which brackets Merimbula Lake, is a haven for birds and for the kangaroos and wallabies that graze on its shores.
One highlight of the year is the Merimbula Jazz Festival. Held in June every year it attracts the cream of local and overseas Jazz musicians.
In November the Mambo Merimbula Wave Classic is held, this is Australia’s longest running kite-boarding and windsurfing event.
Joy flights can be taken from the Merimbula Airport to get magnifecent views of the sparkling Sapphire Coast.
Pambula the township was developed in 1797 during the southern exploration of George Bass, who in his diary commented on the beauty of the Pambula River. The 1830s saw additional settlement on the Pambula River, however the original site was flood-prone and the town was soon relocated some distance away from the riverbanks.
The town lies close to the northern arm of Ben Boyd National Park, an inspiring stretch of coast with many scenic splendours.
The discovery of gold in the area in the 1880s boosted Pambula’s development. Local gold productions ceased in 1915 and the slow decline of rural industries and the growth of nearby Merimbula, effectively preserved the town’s historic character.
There is a beautiful Tourist Park on the Pambula Beach and it is not unusual to catch sight of a Kangaroo or Wallaby in the early mornings.
There are many walking trails in the nearby Ben Boyd National Park and Pambula Beach freshwater lagoon.
If you so desire It is possible to go Horse-riding along the beach.
Fishing in the nearby lakes and rivers, surf or off the rocks at Pulpit Rock.
Eden the last large town on the southern end of the Sapphire Coast is a historical Whaling Town and although Australia does not hunt for whales much whale watching goes on in Eden.
Australia's first mainland whaling station was established here in Eden in 1828.
Eden became famous for it's killer whale pod. Where a whale nicked named as "Old Tom" leading his pod would alert the local whalers when foreign whales were in the area the whales and whalers would then here their victims into the shallow Twofold Bay to be harvested. (Well that's the local legend anyway, and it's a good story )
Today the Humpback and Southern Right Whales migrate safetly along the eastern coast of Austalia between May and November and provide thrills for passengers of the many Cruises that operat out of Eden.
Throughout the year there are also Cruises to see the Bottlenose Dolphins, Seals and Penguins found around Twofold Bay.
The "Killer Whale Museum" is the town’s must-see attraction, a fascinating display of boats, whaling gear, photographs and nautical apparatus. It also is the nesting place of "Old Tom", the killer whale, part of Eden's history.
Extending north and south of Eden, Ben Boyd National Park is a sensational tract of wild coast, beaches, wildflower meadows and eucalypt woodland.
Scuba Diving is also popular in Eden and a rewarding wreck to visit is the "Tasman Hauler"
For a more complete view of Australia, why not visit our Vacation Guide?
- Australian Vacation Guide
The Australian Vacation Guide will show you the best places to visit in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Canberra (ACT)